Working In The Winter

The following information is provided by Mark Maupin of Brick Repair LLC
A lot of Michigan residents  ask me if you can really do a chimney repair and masonry construction in the winter. Michigan winters can wet, and cold. Masonry work is not  a fan of the cold tempratures and wet weather. While this can make working a little difficult it does not make it impossible. Masonry walls and concrete achieve half of their compression strength in there initial set. This means if you can get your masonry set up while you are the battle is nearly won. Here are some of the methods I  use to do this.

1. Use a mortar accelerator to help the mortar set up faster
2. Use warm water to mix your mortar and concrete this will also aid the mortor in setting up
3. Use warm dry material
4. Tarp in and lay the brick i a heated enclosure
5. Use a fast setting concrete

Some of your repairs you can actually get a better deal on if you do them in the winter months. Most masonry contractors who work in Michigan or similar climates slow down in the winter.  This does not mean rush out to get a driveway poured in the winter. What this does mean is if you have a masonry contractor with experience working a Michigan winter you might be able to save a few dollars by having it done now rather than waiting for spring.
This is how we go about a typical Michigan winter chimney repair. We will set up the scaffold and begin our demolition. Once the damaged brick on the chimney have been removed we begin to torch and heat the new brick. Once the brick are HOT to the touch mixing the mortar begins. Mortar is mixed using an accelerator and warm water. If your brick and mortar are hot then they will set up like it was a warm day. After laying the brick we will joint and tool the masonry joints then torch the wall again before brushing it.
I hope this was helpful for anyone looking to get masonry work done in the winter, please feel free to call with any questions 1-248-895-7752